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Re-Gathering for Worship

11.18.20 | News | by Diane Sherwood

    Hello Messiah Family!

    Messiah will continue limited gathering for worship on Sundays with one outdoor, blended service at 10:00am on the south lawn of our campus.

    VISIT THE WORSHIP NOW PAGE FOR ONLINE WORSHIP

    We remain deeply committed to the physical, spiritual, and emotional health of our Partners in Ministry, our staff, and our community at large. Accordingly, we will continue to offer on-line worship services for those who prefer not to attend in-person worship. The decision to “re-gather” is a personal one. Each person should make this decision based on their own circumstances and health conditions. 

    If we have learned anything from this pandemic, it is flexibility. Things will certainly change as we move forward; many changes will still come; we cannot hope to go back to the past. We plan to embrace the best of what once was, as well as the essence of what it means to be the Body of Christ, as we find new ways to follow Jesus and love and serve God and our neighbors.

    Our initial on-site gatherings will be limited in attendance. As we re-gather for worship and small groups at Messiah, we will take into account all of the health and safety guidelines and mandates from the CDC, our state government, and the Orange County Board of Health, and guidance we have received from the Pacifica Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

    WHAT WILL THE EXPERIENCE BE LIKE?

    In order to follow local, state, and federal safety guidelines, worship services on campus will need to look very different. We will be together, but it will not be worship as we remember it for some period of time. As you read this, please keep in mind we will have a group of MESSIAH AMBASSADORS that are being trained to help guide you from your arrival, to your seating, to your exit. Everything that follows is for your safety and health and the safety and health of others.

    BEFORE YOU ATTEND

    As you arrive at Messiah, you will need to wear a mask or face covering. This is a mandatory requirement from the OC Board of Health. (The only exceptions are for children under 2 years of age.)

    Before you are seated for our outdoor worship, you will need to check in at one of the registration tables. Please maintain a 6 foot safety distance.

    Plan to arrive a few minute early in order to get through the check in line and get seated.

    The check in process includes,

    • Confirming masks are worn by people over the age of 2.
    • Receiving a “No Touch” temperature scan. People with a temperature of 100.4°F or above will not be allowed to stay for worship.
    • Each family or group will be escorted by an Ambassador to their designated area for seating.
    • Bathrooms will be open in the Life Center lower floor; 6 foot safety distancing will be required and the entrance door to the restrooms will remain open. Please use the available hand sanitizer after using the restroom.

    While families can sit together, everyone else will need to be seated six feet apart from others.

    Messiah Kids will be offered for children 2yrs through 5th grade outdoor on the playground. No childcare will be provided due to strict safety requirements and ratios that cannot currently be maintained.

    You will be discouraged from engaging in any extended gatherings before or after the worship service.

    WHAT TO EXPECT DURING WORSHIP
    There will be songs sung by our worship leaders, Bible readings, prayers, a message, and a benediction. 

    There will be no Messiah Today or printed material handed out.
    We will not pass an offering plate. Online giving is encouraged. Envelope offerings or cash offerings will be received via secure offering stations.

    AFTER THE WORSHIP SERVICE
    When the service is over, you are asked to leave promptly and return to your car while avoiding contact with other people.

    We realize this information may seem a little overwhelming. We also recognize the picture of what worshipping in person together will look like may not be what you were expecting. Please rest assured that our online worship services will continue even after we resume on-site services outside, for now, and later in the Worship Center. We fully understand many will not be able to or feel comfortable returning to our campus immediately.

    We share this so that everyone can know what to expect as we prepare to return to worshipping in person on site. We will keep you updated as schedules and protocols change.

    SMALL GROUP MEETINGS
    The outdoor areas on the campus are now open and available for small groups to begin meeting, in groups no larger than 10, while maintaining a safety distance.

    • People must wear face mask or face covering while on campus.
    • Groups must provide their own chairs or blankets to sit on.
    • During this time, use of the patio tables is not allowed.
    • Groups can consider meeting off site in the yards of group members.
    • There will be no restrooms or drinking fountains available in this initial stage of regathering. 

    Choose Hope and Connect to Joy,
    Your Church Council, Pastors, and Staff